"Coming of Age" We're not dying, but the corner deli is. We're not, but the Jewishness of the bagel is. We're not, but the self-deprecating Jewish comedian is. We're not, but the negative stereotypes of Jewish women are. We're not, but checkbook Judaism is. We're not, but performance Judaism is. We're not, but our reticence to accept converts is. We're not, but our fear of what the gentiles will think about us is. We're not, but a Judaism based solely on vicarious experience -- the suffering of others in Europe and Russia, achievements of others in Israel -- that no longer sustains us. In short, the Jewish world that we had all grown so comfortable with is gone, and because of that it might appear that we are disappearing, but that's only the view from the station for those who haven't gotten on the train.
We're not disappearing here in America. I know that's very bad news. It means we'll have to find something else to worry about. So let's stop the k'vetching and take a hard look at all the good news out of Israel, where our people have reached a similar crossroads.